Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The First Time (Part 2)

The next week I went back and everybody did their five minutes. And it sucked. Nobody encouraged each other. Some of the lawyers weren’t that bad, and they had some funny ideas. I could see where they were going. But when I got up, nobody laughed. No matter what I did
or what I said, all I got were blank stares. Name Dropper really didn’t say much after each person’s five minute debacle. He had everyone comment on what they thought was funny or wasn’t funny, and he’d agree or disagree. Name Dropper had quite the racquet going with that job.

But I was determined. Each week I went back with new material, observations, things I thought were funny. I cursed. I talked about sex. I talked about men. I made fun of myself. Not a laugh. Not a chuckle. Not a smile. Not a nothing. Meanwhile, I couldn’t stop laughing at everyone else’s stuff. Even if the joke wasn’t perfect, some of it was funny. I also clapped so much at the end of each person’s set you’d think I was a seal. But none of the love was returned. It was nuts.

People started dropping out of the class. Each week the attendance was less and less. There were only five classes. and then you went and performed at a club with a real audience. I refused to give up because I wanted to make it to that club. I wanted to get on stage. I did make a friend in the class. One of the lawyers. And I actually started dating the accountant. But I wasn’t there for friends, and I wasn’t there for men. I was there for comedy. And I wasn’t going to give up.

And while I wasn’t getting any laughs, I was writing material and having the guts to stand up in front of people and try it out. But still no laughs, not even from the friend or the date. More blank stares. I really thought some of my shit was funny. But I started to think maybe it was only funny to me. Maybe I just wasn’t someone who could go from being funny in life to being funny on stage. But I pressed on and made it to the class before the big night.

By then there was only a handful of us left. Even a comedy class can be brutal and make you want to run. It was probably for the best. I’d soon learn if I couldn’t take the rejection in that class I could forget about trying to handle what would come later.

Name Dropper wanted us to bring in what we were going to do for the show at the club. We all had to come in with our best five minutes of material that we had written during the last month. Name Dropper listened to all of us do our “sets” and you could tell he was bored to death. I got up and did my five minutes and my one friend in the class and the guy I had dated were sorta laughing. It was about time. I really liked what I had put together for my stand up debut and was excited. Name Dropper told us to invite people to the club for support, but there was no way I was doing that. After bombing in class for weeks in a row, the thought of inviting friends was out. But then some of my friends who knew I was taking the class kept asking me about it, so at the last minute I invited a few friends.


  1. I'm actually nervous for you! (but then again, performing stand-up is my idea of hell) [love the ostrich]

  2. Before I started doing stand up, I had a positive self-image. I actually liked myself. (Part 2)